Bay Area Bike Culture0
by Byron on Jan 28, 2008 at 5:03 PM
by Byron on Jan 28, 2008 at 5:03 PM
by Kelli on Jan 27, 2008 at 3:48 PM
With 2008 well underway, those of us “fair-weather” riders are looking forward to another cycling season that lies just around the corner. As you try to keep warm through the last few weeks of winter, here are some exciting events to kick off the season…and they don’t all require riding in the freezing cold.
And for the rest of us weenies, grab your cup of hot coffee and curl up in front of the Amgen Tour of California, set to ride in only a few short weeks!
by Jason Swihart on Jan 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM
Spotted on Stone Way, in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle. Can anyone identify that bike? I hadn’t seen it before and the shop girl just said that the owner had bought it from Europe.
by Dave R. on Jan 26, 2008 at 2:45 PM
Of all the bikes in my stable my Fixed Folder is the bike I get the most questions about. She’s also the bike I take the most pride in, having built her up from just a frame and some rims. It’s actually not terribly hard, despite requiring some cold setting. Amazingly, these bikes can still be had new on ebay for less than $200 bucks. So if you like to tinker and want a unique-ish ride, my recipe follows.
Props to Rain City Fix for the updated photo.
Here’s the answer to a question I get from time to time: How’d you make your fixed folder?
I got a Dahon Boardwalk S1. You can find them on ebay for $180 or so fully assembled. This is Dahon’s cheapie, singlespeed, all steel bike with Horizontal Dropouts and coaster brakes.
Mandatory:Rear track hub, spokes, sprocket, rim and tires
I’ll go into each of these below, read to the finish before heading to your local bike store.
The rear wheel must go. It’s asingle speed coaster brake, not suitable for fixing.
If you’re going to do the wheels, might as well get rid of the front as well. I’d also suggest dropping the cranks and pedals (but hang on to those pedals!), handlepost, handlebars and saddle.
Hubs: get the best you can, but remember you’re not going to win any races on this little beast. Also: Match hub holes to rim holes for spokes (or some fraction there of).
Rims: Small wheels are strong wheels, so you could afford to go with cheaper rims. BUT: If you’re big like me (200+) go with good rims. Velocity makes good strong rims, see if you can find them in the right size (406mm). Peter White sells them, so does gearlan. I also bought 36 hole rims so I could use 18 spoke crows foot lacing. Fewer holes is fine, just make sure you match the hub holes to the rim holes.
Spokes: Here’s where it gets tricky. Most shops don’t stock double butted spokes in a size that can be trimmed short enough for your wheels. Ask for the size you need, a good shop will be able to trim down straight gauge spokes to the right size (figure out the size you need based on the hubs and rims you select, using your wheel building manual or the SpokeAndWheel site). Downhill Zone in Seattle came through for me several times in a row, even when other LBS’s claimed a short spoke was impossible.
Building: Don’t be scared, building wheels (esp. small wheels) is pretty easy. I used Roger Munson’s excellent book on wheel building. There are several other tutorials on the web. Notably:
You may have already noticed that the old hubs you had were narrow. Many folders use narrow width hubs so the bike can fold more compactly, and the Boardwalks no exception. Fortunately, since it’s steel it’s pretty easy to change.
Rear Triangle: You need to apply steady, even pressure to both dropouts, and a substantial amount.
Go out to your car and find your tire jack. Place the moving ends of the jack between the dropouts, where the chain and seat stays join – be sure to shield the paint from the jack feet with a cloth.
Screw the jack open until the dropouts are past the size of the hub you need (120mm for a track hub), probably about 6-8mm past. Let the frame sit for a minute then unscrew the jack and see what distance you got the dropouts too. Steel is pretty flexible and forgiving, if it doesn’t turn out just right at first try, try again.
The front fork is close enough to just muscle it, as I recall. If not, try the jack again, but go gently.
Brakes — a front V-brake is what I use, Shimano Dx and an Avid lever. NOTE: Leave lots of extra cable housing between the lever and brake. When the handlepost folds you’ll need the extra to keep the whole setup from pulling itself apart.
Cranks, chainring,and pedals — The stock cranks and pedals are pretty crappy. New cranks will improve your enjoyment quite a bit. I hesitate on pedals because the existing (plastic, in my case) pedals fold up. This is nice if you have to fit your bike into a very small space, but it takes extra time to screw around with them. I ditched mine, but you may want to keep yours.
I’m running a 53 tooth chain ring, and a 17 tooth rear sprocket. Keep in mind the old 2:1 thing doesn’t apply with your new, tiny wheels.
Saddle — the stock saddle is uncomfortable after just a few miles. I eventually ended up with a Brooks sprung Champion Flyer carried by Wallbike. I got mine at a local bike store where they did the initial saddle dressing for free and much better than I could have.
Handlepost — The handlepost that came on my Boardwalk was not suitable for fixed riding by a large guy. Flexy, squeaky, generally unsafe feeling.
I upgraded to a 2005+ handlepost from Gaerlan, whichis the single best improvement I’ve made on the bike.
Note:This is a tricky upgrade. The handlepost only works on bikes which have forks threaded on the INSIDE. The handlepost attaches to the fork by a huge threaded bolt with a 10mm hex driver hole in the top. Check to make sure your Dahon has this type of fork before ordering the 2005+ stem.Stem and Handlebars:
You’re very close. Add a chain, and some tires and I think you’re good to go.
I used Schwalbe Marathon Slicks (which do come in a 406 size) for my tires, and I can’t be happier with them.
by Byron on Jan 25, 2008 at 9:58 AM
With the cold, sunny days in Seattle (cold for us at least), we shot this video riding around Alki Beach and the University of Washington.
Bikes and gear shown include
and the audio sample is Lyrics Of Fury from Tricky.
by Byron on Jan 25, 2008 at 7:30 AM
When Bryan and I were riding around Beijing (inhaling various flavors of fuel), I fretted about locking the bikes, making sure we picked a good spot to lock them, and was wary of bike thieves. We debated the likelihood of theft and thought with hundreds of millions of bikes on the street, who would need to steal one? Well, according to a China Daily report, 4 million bikes get stolen a year and they just halved that and consider it a success. Wow that’s a lot of bikes!
Interestingly, the bikes we did see locked, were more like a cursory lock, not NYC style at all.
by Byron on Jan 25, 2008 at 6:13 AM
Delta 7 Sports and Miōn Footwear partnered to power their booth at the Outdoor Retailer show with a mountain bike. Scott emailed me about it and we got a photo from Delta 7 Sports. Show attendees, employees, and anyone else they could find, attempted to pedal more than 3,000 watts of electricity per day
a couple notes
Admittedly, we lack Mountain Bike coverage here, but did notice the Arantix in the photo. It takes about 300 hours to build that IsoTruss structure with carbon fiber. And only 200 hundred are being built this year.
by Byron on Jan 24, 2008 at 6:43 AM
From the Coloradoan, a story about Rob Martin’s bike business.
… each morning, Martin hops on his bike to pick up bagels from Gib’s and deliver them to Old Town coffee shops … every trip I make is one less car on the road or in some cases, one less truck,” he said while collecting recycling at Lyric Cinema CafÃ© in Old Town, the fourth stop on his recycling rounds that day. “I want to be part of the solution.
Of course, a bike economy interests us and besides the bagels, Rob picks up recycling for local businesses.
What I’m wondering is what other businesses can run with bikes?
Photo: Rich Abrahamson/The Coloradoan.
by Dave R. on Jan 23, 2008 at 11:11 PM
Here I’ve been feeling so sorry for myself riding the roads in the cold weather, and not one but two dudes have been riding the sound this winter and for many winters past . I’m don’t see myself giving up my spot on the bus for a water bike on my short trip across Lake Washington, but I’m definitely impressed. Thanks to Bill for the tip! The aqua bikes seem like a very good option for a trip on the sound, stable and reliable, maybe a bit pokey. Turns out there are lots of options. If I’m gonna compete with the water skiers next to the SR-520 floating bridge I think I’ll have to get me one of these and those 6-pack abs I asked for for Christmas. For those with a bit of spare time, here’s a DIY.
by Byron on Jan 22, 2008 at 4:23 PM
In April, Bike Hugger will blog Shanghai by bike and expect to see cargo just like this shot from a Reuters photographer. When we were in Beijing, I saw meat bucket bike, bubble-wrap bike, and more. Jason shot this old women and her market bike in Taipei.